Friday, 25 November 2016
Chime by Orbital is one of British dance music's breakthrough moments, proof the UK could do what the US had been donig in Chicago and Detroit. Chime was written by the Hartnoll brothers in Kent in 1989. It was recorded in early 1989 onto cassette in their makeshift home studio, a cupboard under the stairs, using a recently acquired Roland TB 303 which had been bought from a working men's club keyboard player. Legend has it that it cost a fiver (a documentary I watched a while back), £3.65 (an interview where he describes having to shell out for a metal TDK cassette) or a single pound (wikipedia). Paul Hartnoll mixed it live onto a four track tape recorder and then went to the pub. Paul described the evening thus-
Chime' started as a big riff from me playing this joyous Detroit-y chord progression that mirrored my mood — it was a sunny day and I was off to meet girls down the pub — and then I built a two-bar groove on the 909 that turned out to be rubbish until I decided to play it as one-bar loops.
Taking it down to the local record shop where mentor Jazzy M worked, they played it through the shop's system and people started asking for it there and then. The full twelve minute one is the one you really want. This one here is a five minute edit. Shorter but still wondrous.